Open Systems & Information Dynamics

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 67–76

Multiscale modeling of developmental processes

  • David H. Sharp
  • John Reinitz
  • Eric Mjolsness

DOI: 10.1007/BF02228972

Cite this article as:
Sharp, D.H., Reinitz, J. & Mjolsness, E. Open Syst Inf Dyn (1993) 2: 67. doi:10.1007/BF02228972


In contrast to most synthetic neural nets, biological neural networks have a strong component of genetic determination which acts before and during experiential learning. Three broad levels of phenomena are present: long-term evolution, involving crossover as well as point mutation; a developmental process mapping genetic information to a set of cells and their internal states of gene expression (genotype to phenotype); and the subsequent synaptogenesis. We describe a very simple mathematical idealization of these three levels which combines the crossover search method of genetic algorithms with the developmental models used in our previous work on “genetic” or “recursively generated” artificial neural nets [18] (and elaborated into a connectionist model of biological development [19]). Despite incorporating all three levels (evolution on genes; development of cells; synapse formation) the model may actually be far cheaper to compute with than a comparable search directly in synaptic weight space.

Copyright information

© Nicholas Copernicus University Press 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • David H. Sharp
    • 1
  • John Reinitz
    • 2
  • Eric Mjolsness
    • 4
  1. 1.Theoretical DivisionLos Alamos National LaboratoryLos AlamosUSA
  2. 2.Center for Medical InformaticsYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.Brookdale Center for Molecular BiologyMount Sinai School of MedicineNew York
  4. 4.Department of Computer ScienceYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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